Duke Regional Hospital has received the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation from the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Duke Regional was designated with four stars for its efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients.
“For years we have been working on initiatives to encourage and support breastfeeding,” says Tammie Gullie, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Duke Regional Hospital. “Our goal is to educate new moms to help them make informed choices about how they feed their baby. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for their baby, and it offers health benefits for mom as well.”
The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding. Participating facilities in North Carolina earn a star for every two steps implemented.
“In looking for a hospital to deliver their baby, parents often look for an establishment which will promote and support breastfeeding,” says Ellen Byars, BSN, RN, CN II, Duke Regional Hospital. “The breastfeeding friendly star designation gives them an idea of what kind of breastfeeding support they will receive after delivering their baby. With a 4 star designation, patients can feel secure that our staff will work together to enable and empower mothers to exclusively breastfeed if that is their choice.”
Duke Regional helps women get breastfeeding off to a good start by adapting baby-friendly policies like helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour after birth, showing mothers how to breastfeed and having mothers and babies stay in the same hospital room.
Duke Regional was awarded as a three star-receiving hospital in 2012.